Sunday, September 04, 2011

DXers meet at Kolkata

(Photo by : Babul Gupta)

Oh ! What a DX meet ! It was Babul Gupta's idea, triggered by Jyoti P Chakravarty's suggestion. It brought together 14 Kolkata DXers whose DX seniority ranged from first QSL received in 1967 (Babul Gupta) to first QSL received in 2006 (Soumya). We were meeting on a Sunday afternoon (4th September 2011) at our Jodhpur Park residence where my wife Paromita served us plenty of tea and snacks.

In this meet there were some former DX buddies who were meeting after thirty odd years! While looking at the digital DX gears of today one senior DXer ,who is now dormant, wondered aloud how different and difficult it was in the yesterdays. TRB brought along the wedding day photo of Dipankar Dutta which showed many a IDXCI member in 1979 when they were much younger. Surajit Kumar Dey who was the technical section editor of our former IDXCI and is a present ham, interfaced with the younger DXers on some of the technical issues.

As Babul Gupta was showing off his e QSLS ranging from TWR Benin on mw to Cross Radio in the tropical band, Pratap Shankar Mazumdar regretted that he had misplaced his Iceland qsl. It would have been such an interesting viewing today. For me it was a surprise to be reminded that I was in touch with Jyoti P Chakravarty way back in 1985. I had simply forgotten that he had picked up an old WRTH from my Medical College Hostel for Rs 125. But we had never met earlier and this afternoon we were meeting for the first time.

Those of us who had participated in the Chandipore DX peditions of 1984-85 had reasons to feel proud. In the meet were at least four young DXers who were introduced and motivated into DXing by the article on DXing published in the Bengali periodical " Anandamela". This article which was published later in a book form around 1995 had dramatically portrayed the Chandipore DXpeditions and captured the imagination of the youngsters.

As for the afternoon listening session, the attempt at DRM reception of AIR Vibidh Bharati 6100 kHz was a failure and so was New Zealand on 9655 kHz. However, Mongolia on 12085 at 1040 UTC with SIO 232 was the saving grace. Toying with various possible DX locations for the forthcoming DXpeditions also elicited excited response.

Sanjay Sutradhar narrated his visit to Radio Nepal .I repeated the story of my visit to Voice of Tamil Elam recording studio and Offices in Chennai in 1985. Swopan Chakrabarty was candid about his initial difficulty in getting into Radio Bangladesh Dhaka and how he finally managed it. However, Jyoti Charavarty's vivid description of his visit to Bhutan Broadcasting Service studio was the best. He found his way into the BBS studio and transmitter site during his honymoon trip to Thimpu in 1995 where he not only got a QSL card impromptu, but had an overwhelming reception by the engineering staff. Sudipto Ghose was mild about his visit to the erstwhile Radio NYAB in Thimpu in 1984.
With so many former IDXCI members around there was a clamor for a rerun of the bulletin. However, in view of the digital age which we are in, it was decided to plan for a different type of bulletin which will cover different issues. Debanjan who had been to the Talsari DXped was eager to join the next but was wary of the January timing because of his work schedule. Rajdeep who still has not put up an external antenna was strongly advised about a long wire with matching transformers home brewed. Babul Gupta praised the hombrew 9:1 transformers done by Partha Sarathi Goswami for him which has dramtically cut down the noise.
Babul Gupta deserves special thanks for reving up the old Kolkata DX group!

Supratik Sanatani
4th September 2011

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